The USA Today has touted Sungri, a West Coast based solar technology start up, as being able to provide solar power at roughly the price of coal electricity production, the cheapest available, in as little as one year.
The companies secret to reducing the cost of electricity production with a photovoltaic (PV) system is their collectors ability to concentrate the solar energy entering the panels, allowing their panels to operate as much as 75% more efficiently than current PV technology.
The company is working to dominate an entirely new market within the solar industry called Xtreme Concentrated Photovoltaics (XCPV). Production of the companies panels is supposed to begin in mid 2009. The initial production will be focused on development of panels for commercial use. The company has indicated plans to increase production for residential use by 2012.
One of the problems involved in magnifying the intensity of the sunlight that enters the cell by as much as 1,600 times is the high temperatures generated in the process. Sungri touts their proprietary heat removal system as the answer to this problem.
The new technology is not silicon based and will not be affected by the shortage of silicon in it’s production process. The systems are also easily adapted to off the grid use and can be utilized in remote areas with no current electricity.
The announcement by Sungri has put the company at the top of the list of innovators in the future of solar power. The final test for the new XCPV technology will come in getting it from the drawing board to mass production and consumer use.